Day-boarding pupils in Song Ma district make their bed at school (Photo: VNA)

Son La (VNA)
– Day boarding has been available at many schools in Song Ma district, in the northern mountainous province of Son La for years, which has helped maintain high class attendance and improve education quality.

Nam Ty Secondary School is located in the disadvantaged Nam Ty commune of Song Ma district, and is home to a majority of students from ethnic minority groups. Out of the 700 students attending the school, nearly 400 are day-boarders who have to travel 10-20km each day to get to school; so the school has built catering and nap rooms with access to electricity and clean water supply for these students.

Mua Phuong Chi, an ethnic minority student at Nam Ty Secondary School, said her house is 12km away from the school, which is a real struggle to travel to every day due to the poor road quality en route. She has taken part in the day-boarding programme since the sixth grade with all her meals and accommodation expenses covered by the school and she can keep her mind focused on her studies.

According to Rector Nguyen Manh Hung, the school has paid particular attention to providing students with a healthy diet and high-quality foods. The programme has helped reduce the annual dropout rate to below 1 percent and at the same time, students have been provided with the opportunity to develop independence and improve their life skills.

Nam Ty Elementary School is also among those housing the highest number of day-boarders in the district with 500 students who receive financial benefits equivalent to 40 percent of the minimum wage and 15kg of rice per month. They no longer have to go to school with an empty stomach but have a full three meals per day.

The day-boarders spend most of the day on the campus and revise lessons in the evening, and as such their academic performance has been much improved, said Pham Thi Lien, Rector of the Nam Ty Elementary School. The school has not had any student drop out for years, she noted.

Song Ma district now has 22 day-boarding schools with nearly 5,000 students. These schools provide a total of more than 200 nap rooms with over 1,200 beds and 29 school kitchens. –VNA